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Atlantic Cod
The body of the Atlantic Cod is moderately elongate, slightly condensed it has three dorsal fins on its back and two anal fins behind its belly.

The color is variably greenish, yellowish, whitish, or reddish; back and sides with numerous brownish spots;

The Atlantic Cod live near the ocean bottom from W. Greenland south to Cape Hatteras; most abundant from Labrador to New York.

The Atlantic Cod usually reaches about 10 lb, but it can grow to over 100 lb. They feed on a variety of animals, generally mollusks, sea squirts, and other types of fishes.
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Puffer fish are found mostly in tropical waters around the world, but the northern puffer fish is found from Canada to Florida.

They live mostly in shallow waters.

They are tan colored with black spots. Their large eyes are on the top of their heads. They have no teeth but kind of a beak at the end of a pointed snout. They have few fins, no scales and are covered with little spines. They are very poisonous.

They blow up with air and water until they are too big to be eaten by predators.

They use their beak-like mouth and sharp edged jawbone to eat crabs, shrimp, snails, clams and other fish.
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Bluefish are one of the most important food fish of the Atlantic seaboard, and catching Bluefish is a very exciting sport.
The body of the Bluefish is elongate, moderately compressed, its head is large compared to body, and they have a large mouth, and protuberant and acute teeth.
The Bluefish can grow to over 50 lb.

They are voracious feeders that travel in large groups or schools, and they have been known to come close inshore and attack swimmers.

They are reported to feed until their bellies are full, regurgitate, and feed again as long as food is present.
Juvenile or young Bluefish that are only 4-6 months old are commonly called "Snappers".

Bluefish are found from Nova Scotia to Argentina, usually in surface waters near shore or offshore.
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Atlantic croaker are found in U.S. coastal waters from the Gulf of Maine to Florida. Migrations of croaker seam to appear to move northward and inshore during the warmer months and southward into the ocean during the winter. Croakers average length is 6.8 and 7.2 inches. Atlantic croakers are harvested in estuarine and nearshore waters that range from a few feet deep to depths of 45 feet or more. Anglers catch them by bottom fishing or jigging from anchored and drifting boats, ocean beaches, the banks of bays and rivers, and man-made structures. more info
The Black Drum is the largest member of the drum family.
The body of the Black Drum is moderately compressed, and it has high curved back. The color is gray or black, and its body is marked with 4 or 5 black bars on each side.
It can grow to over 110 lb, but the common size is 35 lb

This fish usually is found from Nova Scotia to Mexico; Brazil and Argentina.

Black Drums feed on oysters, shrimp and crabs, and uses its large chin barbel to help it locate these crustaceans and mollusks.
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A number of different species of flatfish or Flounder are found in coastal and ocean waters along the entire Atlantic coast of the U.S. Two of the most common flounder species are the Winter or Blackback Flounder, the Summer Flounder or Fluke, which is one of the larger Flounder species.

All Flounder have a similar body anatomy; They have eyes on one side of the head, and, for this characteristic they are able to rest on the ocean bottom and look upward.

Winter Flounder principally live in shallow inshore waters during the colder months of the year and in the summer time, they migrate to deeper and cooler ocean waters. Winter Flounder are most abundant during the colder months of the year. Fluke have a migratory pattern opposite that of winter Flounder. Fluke migrate offshore to ocean waters 200 to 500 feet deep during the winter time and they move inshore to shallow warmer waters during the summer time.

Winter Flounder usually can grow up to 8 lb, and it can be found in the western Atlantic from Labrador south to Georgia.

Summer Flounder is found from Maine to northern Florida; this flatfish reaches a weight of 26 lb.
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Summer Flounder or Fluke is one of the larger Flounder species.
Generally they are white below and darker above, but they can turn various shades of gray, blue, green,orange and almost black; in fact they are called the chameleons of the sea because of their ability to change color to match the bottom on which they are found.

The Fluke reaches a weight of 26 lb, and is usually marked with dark spots (ocelli).

Like other species of flat fish, the Fluke have both eyes on one side of its head and, for characteristic it is able to rest on the ocean bottom and look up.

The flatfish is found in coastal waters from the southern gulf of Maine to Florida.
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Alewife and blueback herring (known as river herring) are relatively small fish that spend most of their adult life at see, but return to freshwater areas to spawn in the spring. Alewife spawn in rivers, lakes and tributaries from northeastern Newfoundland to South Carolina, but are most abundant in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Blueback herring prefer to spawn in swift flowing rivers and tributaries from Nova Scotia to northern Florida, but are most numerous in waters from the Chesapeake Bay south. History of juvenile herring are sparce after they emigrate to the sea and before they mature and return to freshwater to spawn.

Check your local fish management for regulations.
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Kingfish / Spot
Other names for the Northern kingfish include king whiting, sea mullet, northern whiting, roundhead, sea mink, minkfish, whiting and barb.

Northern kingfish are part of the drum family, Sciaenidae, which also includes weakfish, spot, Atlantic croaker, red drum and black drum. Since they lack an air bladder, Northern kingfish do notmake typical "drumming" sounds like other members of the drum family, but they can vocalize somewhat by grinding their pharyngeal (throat) teeth.

Notable characteristics are the long spine on the first dorsal fin and a barbel on the chin. Dark, irregular bars are present along the body of the fish. The first two bars form two distinct V-shapes. The bold markings and a dark longitudinal stripe behind the pectoral fins distinguish it from the two other species of kingfish. The markings on Southern kingfish and Gulf kingfish are not nearly as prominent and do not form the V-shaped pattern.

Northern kingfish are found in the Atlantic Ocean from Maine to Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Yucatan. They are most commonly found from the Chesapeake Bay to New York.

Usually found in schools in shallow coastal waters, Northern kingfish prefer areas with a hard or a sandy bottom. They regularly appear along the Atlantic coast from late April to October. It is unknown where Northern kingfish migrate for the winter, but it is thought to be offshore and in deeper water.

Northern kingfish can grow 18 inches long and can weigh up to three pounds, but greater lengths and weights have been reported. Commonly, these fish range from 10 to 14 inches long and weigh from one-half to 1.5 pounds.

Spot occur along the U.S. Atlantic coast in estuarine and coastal waters from Chesapeake Bay south to South Carolina. Spot migrate seasonally, entering bays and estuaries in the spring, where they remain until late summer or fall when they move offshore to spawn. Spot are opportunistic bottom feeders, eating mainly worms, small crustaceans and mollusks, as well as organic material.

Predators such as striped bass, weakfish, summer flounder, bluefish, and sharks eat them in turn.

Spot are caught from shore or by private or rental boats rather than by party or charter boats.
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The Ling, also called the Red Hake, is easily identified by its pelvic fins, which are formed into long white split streamers. It grows to 20" and 6 lbs.

Hakes, close relatives of codfish, are carnivorous fish that feed on squid, shrimp, other small crustacea, and, occasionally, other hakes. Hakes use their pelvic fin rays as sensory organs to find food. The red hake, shown here, is common to coastal areas of the United States.

Juvenile Hakes can be found living in scallop shells. They do not eat shellfish, even as adults
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The body of the Mackerel is elongate, fusiform, slightly condensed, the color is iridescent blue green on the back becoming silvery below.

The Atlantic Mackerel usually can grow about 1lb 8 oz. It is a fast swimmer, in fact its speed over 20MPH.

This fish usually is found in warm-temperate and tropical Atlantic waters from Newfoundland to Cape Hatteras.

Mackerel form large schools near the surface of the water, feeding on small fish and crustaceans; young mackerel feed on microscopic copepods; as they grow, they feed on progressively larger prey. Adults will eat any fish smaller than themselves; they also eat a variety of invertebrates such as copepods, crab larvae, shrimp and squid.
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The porgy is an Atlantic fish found from New England through Florida and the Bahamas. There are 2 primary species known as the scup and the jolthead. The jolthead porgy is found further south than the scup porgy. The scup averages a couple of pounds while the jolthead porgy is bigger with some of these fish growing larger than 8 pounds. more info
Sea Bass
Black sea bass inhabit Atlantic coastal waters from the Gulf of Maine to the Florida Keys, concentrating in areas from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to Cape Canaveral, Florida. Two distinct stocks of black sea bass exist along the Atlantic coast with overlapping ranges. The northern stock migrates seasonally and spawns off of New England in the late summer. The southern stock spawns off of Chesapeake Bay in the early summer. Atemperate reef fish, black sea bass commonly inhabit rock bottoms near pilings, wrecks, and jetties. Black sea bass rely on their large mounth and swift ocean currents to catch prey, which include fish, crabs, mussels, and razor clams. Black sea bass summer in northern inshore waters at depths of less than 120 feet and winter in southern offshore waters at depths of 240 to 540 feet.

Young sea bass migrate into estuaries, bays and sounds. They seek shelter in a variety of habitats such as submerged aquatic vegetation, oyster reefs, and man-made structures.

Anglers commonly catch fish using squid and natural bait.
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Striped Bass
The body of the Striped Bass is elongate and slightly condensed. It has a narrow head, and a large mouth with small teeth. The color is olive-green to dark blue on the back, silvery on the sides, and white below. There are 6 to 9 horizontal dark stripes on the side.

The common weight is 3 lb. - 15 lb.

The Striped Bass is found in the Atlantic Ocean and associated rivers from St. Lawrence River to St. Johns River, Florida. Most abundant from Hudson River to Chesapeake Bay.

Striped Bass travel in schools and are most abundant in coastal ocean waters, inshore bays, and coastal rivers.
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Tautog / Blackfish
Tautog are distributed along the Northeast Atlantic coast from Nova Scotia to Georgia, with the greatest abundances occurring in the U.S. between Cape Cod and Chesapeake Bay. They are generally found close to shore in water less than 60 feet deep north of Cape Cod, and up to 40 miles offshore at depths up to 60 feet south of the Cape.

Tautog thrive in areas with structured habitat. They are generally found around rocks and boulders in waters north of Long Island, and inhabit wrecks, jetties, natural and artificial reefs, and shellfish beds in the southern end of their range. Adults stay close to their preferred home site moving away only during the day to feed and returning at night where they become dormant and may actually sleep.

Fishing occurs primarily in the spring and fall, although wthere is an active fishery off the Birginia coast in the winter and some Nid-Atlantic fishermen will pursue tautog year-round.
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Weakfish is a member of the drum family, is so named because of its fragile mouth which permits a hook to tear out rather easily.
It is a really powerful swimmer and a strong fighter when hooked.

It reaches about 6 lb, but fishes over 19 lb have been caught.
The color is silvery overall, the back is dark olive-green and specked with many dark blotches.
This fish is found from Nova Scotia to northern Florida, in coastal waters, along shores and in estuaries.

The Weakfish forms small schools in shallow water, and feeds on shrimps and other crustaceans at the bottom, and on small fish at the surface.
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White Perch